Making a move to Diss
This border town makes the most of a great location, says Stephanie Ball
Take a drive into the centre of the East Anglian countryside, right to the border of Norfolk and Suffolk – and you’ll find the market town of Diss.
Positioned less than an hour away from both Ipswich and Norwich, this handsome town is home to 7,500 people, with approximately 40,000 more residents living in the outlying villages.
If you are travelling, Diss is handily placed on the main Norwich to London train line, but there is no reason to go far when everything you need is right on your doorstep.
For 500 years the town centre has boasted weekly markets and today they are still going strong, full of locally-sourced goods and produce. A community farm group works together to keep food supplies local, ethical and sustainable.
Local shops fill the high street and there are restaurants, pubs and cafés to cater for every taste. The recently refurbished Corn Hall is at the heart of much of the town action, running workshops in everything from boxing to photography and holding art exhibitions, family events, and music. The grade II listed building has been extensively updated but still retains its attractive classical features.
Arts groups are also a big part of life in Diss. From a rock and soul choir to a woodturning club, there are activities everyone can get involved in. Diss’s alpaca farm is also great for children and adults alike, and Banham Zoo is only a 15-minute drive away.
With museums, a town library and three high schools within a five-mile radius, Diss is wellserved in the education field.
The properties in the town centre and Fair Green area, particularly along Denmark Street, have many semi-detached and terraced period cottages or Victorian townhouses. North of the town centre to the Shelfanger Road and Roydon Road there are new-build developments catering for all needs.
Diss is surrounded by nature reserves, including its very own mere and adjoining park right in the heart of the town centre. The origins of the six-acre lake remain a mystery, but it’s a popular part of the town’s heritage.
One of the newest woodland areas – Quaker Wood – is now filled with wildflowers and, as it was only planted in 2008, will be a pleasure to watch mature over the years to come.
ABOVE: The mere and town sign
BELOW:A pirate driving a tractor? Has to be Diss carnival...